Qualcomm’s stand-alone VR headset design uses Tobii eye-tracking

Tobii

Tobii, the company behind the popular eye-tracking hardware for PC gaming, said on Thursday, March 15, that it teamed up with Qualcomm to bring eye-tracking capabilities to mobile headsets supporting virtual reality and augmented reality. The technology will be part of Qualcomm’s next-generation reference design and development kit based on its new Snapdragon 845 processor, which was first used in the Samsung Galaxy S9 phone launched in February. 

Qualcomm’s head-mounted display (HMD) reference design will include Tobii’s proprietary EyeCore eye-tracking algorithms and hardware design. In turn, Tobii said it would work closely with HMD manufacturers to provide the best optical solution for their design. The company also plans to license its eye-tracking technologies and system to these manufacturers as well. 

On a PC, Tobii’s eye-tracking hardware does just that — it tracks where the gamer is looking at all times to enhance the experience. For example, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will automatically pan the worldview according to the gamer’s focus versus the player moving the mouse to pan the camera. Likewise, the system will automatically select a target in-game when the player views an enemy, or scanning places to attach a grappling hook. 

On a Windows 10 PC, Tobii’s system can make navigation a bit easier. On a laptop, you can simply look at a specific point on the screen, and the cursor will jump to that point when placing a finger on the touchpad. Other capabilities in Windows 10 when using Tobii’s hardware includes managing apps using task view, the application switcher, snap assist, and more. 

Tobii

But with virtual and augmented reality scenarios, eye tracking can relieve a large chunk of the rendering overhead needed to create the experience. Right now, headsets render the entire environment crystal clear no matter your focal point. But with eye tracking, the overall performance increases by not fully rendering the scene outside your field of view. Eye tracking can enable this method, called “foveated rendering.” 

Yet, that is not all. According to Tobii, eye tracking can enable HMDs to orient images based on your pupils. That indicates you will no longer need to manually adjust the lenses given Tobii’s hardware will adjust the scene for each individual, increasing visual quality. Another benefit is hand-eye-coordination: You won’t need to fully move your head like a robot to interact with virtual objects controlled by your hands. 

“Devices can accurately track your gaze in real time, enabling content creators to express one of the most fundamental dimensions of human interaction — eye contact,” the company says. “VR technologies hold the promise of enabling a new and immersive medium for social interaction. The addition of true eye contact to virtual reality helps deliver that promise.” 

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845-based reference design will be its second stand-alone HMD kit to date. The first kit, introduced in 2017, relies on the older Snapdragon 835 chip along with a single AMOLED screen with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. The recent stand-alone Google Daydream headsets are mostly based on this design along with HTC’s Vive Focus headset sold in China. 

Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.
Deals

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.